I worked on a photo I took in New York City back in 2009. Th image was shot using a Leica M8 digital range finder camera. It was so dark in this entrance to the building that I had to use the highest ISO the camera has. That means noise in the negative. In the film days it meant grain in the negative. All about the same problem.
I tried to salvage the photo by turning it to Black & White but as you can see it didn’t help much.
Now just 5 years later the tools have evolved (along with my skills) to the point that I decided to take another try at it. Using a combination of Lightroom adjustments plus Photoshop retouching with Topaz Clean, Topaz DeNoise and DxO Optics 9 I was able to clean up the noise while keeping image detail. I used Optics 9 to true up the wall and improve the composition.
Then back in Lightroom I turned the image into B&W for final output. All told, two hours to create a greatly improved photograph. I have put the original color capture here along with my original try at a B&W image (2009). The last photograph is the 2014 final version. What can I say?